Thursday, June 27, 2013

So Blessed

Once again, as Guy was preparing to heat up something for supper, there was a tap at our door.  There was another member of our Sunday school class with a load of food!  I just don't know how to tell you how much these people mean to me.  They are such a blessing.  We are enjoying every morsel!

I've now got one week under my belt - 7 to go.  I'm not really crossing off days yet - just too many of those.  7 weeks sounds a lot better than 49 days.  I guess I see just a tiny bit of progress each day.  I've been off the narcotic pain pills for 3 days now - except I did have to take one yesterday afternoon.  I just couldn't get comfortable enough with the Ibuprofen. 

This morning I was in my W/C in the kitchen talking to Guy on the phone.  The door from the kitchen to the screened-in porch was open to allow Annie to come and go at her will for a while.  I was still in my pajamas, but had laid out my clothes in the living room near my recliner.  As I was talking, Annie SHOT out the door with one of my undergarments!!  "Oh, no!"  I screamed into the phone.  Then I had to explain what had happened.  I guess my scream startled Annie, and she dropped the garment onto the floor of the porch and stood there looking at me.  I hung up the phone, scolded her, hoping she would not pick it up and run on out into the yard with it, got my crutches, eased up to the open door, and v.e.r.y carefully eased my way down the small step.  I haven't walked with these crutches except to get from the W/C in the hallway into the powder room off the kitchen.  I'm just not steady enough on them yet, and the jarring bothers my left hip.  I was able to sit down on the little wicker coffee table and retrieve my prize - or what Annie thought was her prize.  That little booger!  One of her favorite things to do is to grab one of the hand towels hanging in the kitchen and RUN out the door into the backyard with it.  But I still love her...... :)

I will be so glad to be able to sleep in my bed again.  Just not sure how soon that will be.  My side of the bed is the side away from the door that leads into the master bath.  I've been having to get up one or two times during the night, and I'm just not ready to try to stumble around the end of the bed and make a little S-curve to get into the bathroom - in the dark.  Plus, a few days ago, Guy said the toilet in that bathroom "blew up."  Something went wrong to cause it to run water all the time.  So he just shut the water off to it until he can get a part to repair it - probably this weekend.   His honey-do list seems to be growing as we speak.  So, I continue to wrestle this recliner through the night.  Sometimes my tail bone just screams, "Get off me!!"

Until next time....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Checking Days Off the Calendar

This is where I've been spending my days - and nights, too. Annie has loved my being pretty much confined to this recliner. She's always been a lap dog, but before the surgery, I didn't sit enough to her liking. Now she thinks she's died and gone to heaven. 

I am starting to get up a little more. I go to the table for meals now. I would love to be up in the W/C more, but it doesn't allow my leg to be in an elevated enough position to remain comfortable.  I'm just impatient waiting for the swelling to go down. 

It's been quite some time since my left ankle has been this skinny!

We both put in a hard afternoon of sleep. The pain medication makes me so sleepy and gives me wild dreams!

Hope to find some sweet dreams tonight. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Surgery Update

I had the surgery on Wednesday, June, 19.  All went well according to the doctor.  He did tell my husband that the foot had a lot of arthritis in it, and he "had to do a lot of scraping” – whatever that meant.  They ended up putting in 5 screws instead of the planned 3.  The leg and foot was in a splint with an Ace-wrap around it from just below my knee to my toes.  The biggest problem the first day, of course, was the pain.  I was on a morphine pump (PCA), and all it did was help me get some sleep because it certainly did very little for the pain.  Frankly, I didn't really bargain for that much pain!

I didn't go home the next morning as they said I would - just too much pain, and I had not yet even tried to get up on a bedside commode - mainly because they never got one in my room.  It was always, "We've ordered one."  Finally one came in the evening and physical therapy came to get me up with a walker.  That was very painful because, not being able to any weight on my right foot, I had to hop on the left foot, and ANY jarring movement and the hanging down of my foot was very painful!  I think I got up on the commode 4-5 times during the night.  I remember those days when I would tell my new C-section moms, as they were getting out of bed the first time, "The first time you get up is the hardest, and each time after that will get easier."  Those words kept ringing in my ears each time I got up, and each time got just the teeniest bit easier.  It still made me groan, shake, and sweat every time. 

Flowers from my sweet husband.

Friday morning the surgeon's nurse came by to change the dressing on my foot.  She unwrapped the Ace-wrap, removed the cotton and splint, and then proceeded to *peel* off about a 6"x6" piece of, saturated but I think dried, telfa  It felt as thought she was taking skin and all.  Then it happened again as she took the one off my heel.  I could see at least three pieces of paper tape over three incisions on my swollen foot and one just below my knee but to the inside of my leg. The upper one was the bone graft donor site.  She the went to the bathroom with this roll of foam-like stuff.  She stretched that out under my leg and foot, added other gauze, and wrapped the whole thing in a large Ace-wrap.  She said as that foam got warm it would harden into the splint, and the whole thing would be my temporary "cast" until I went into the office.  I'll do that on Monday, July 1, to have the stitches removed and the regular cast applied.  I'll remain NON-weight bearing for 6-8 weeks.

Shortly after that, the nurse came in to removed my IV, and give me the first of my pain pills - Percocet.  After the 2 Percocets took effect, it was the first time I had gotten any measure of pain relief - and what a relief that was!!  *sigh*  I decided that going home was going to be a good thing after that.  The discharge planner came in to see what I needed at home.  When I told her I had a wheelchair that would elevate my right leg, a rolling knee walker, a bedside commode, a shower chair, crutches, and a plastic cast cover for showering, she decided I didn't really need her services!  :)

We left the hospital around 3:00 p.m.  I got into the back seat, leaned against the door, putting my foot up on a pillow.  The ride home was actually quite pleasant - until Guy hit some pot holes.  Any jarring was still quite painful, i.e. the wheelchair ride from the car over the threshold into the house.  Once I got into my recliner and got my foot properly elevated I, was ready to face the rest of the day.  I have to keep my foot higher than my heart for 23 hours out of 24 for the 1st 3 days.  That means eating and sleeping in my recliner and only up to go to the bathroom. 

Annie was ready for me to get home. 

I don't think I felt quite as bad as the picture portrayed. 
More updates later, when a little more rested.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Surgery Postponed. :(

I've spent the last week getting ready to have surgery on my right foot.  Over a year ago, I started having pain on the inside of the ankle, going down into my arch and up into my lower leg.  After an MRI, an orthopedic doctor diagnosed me as having "severe tendonitis."  After several rounds of anti-inflammatories, custom orthotics, weeks of physical therapy, and a brace, the arch went completely flat, making walking difficult and painful.  I was referred to another orthopedic doctor who specialized in problems of the feet.  He said he could fix it with a tendon transfer.  After a 2nd opinion from another surgeon, he said that tendon transfer was not appropriate for me because all three of the joints below my ankle had become involved.  He said I was on the verge of a stress fracture in the bone on the outside of my lower leg.  He said I needed a fusing of those foot joints - a triple arthrodesis.  Here is a site about the surgery, I you're interested. 

That was all about Christmas time, and I went home to think about it.  I should have done it right near the 1st of January, but I just wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger.  After that, so many things began to get scheduled that I needed or really wanted to do, and there never was enough time between the events to have adequate recovery time.  Now here I am - an half a year later, and I was finally able to get it scheduled.  It was to occur next Wednesday the 12th.  Everything scheduled around that date was working out just right - my husband was able to get time off work, it was going to work out for me to attend church the first Sunday of our new pastor the following week, and I might have been able to attend our quilt guild's big quilt show the next week (by wheel chair).  However, as I was sitting in the waiting room, waiting to get my preadmission blood work done, the doctor's office called to tell me the hospital's OR was under construction, and there just wasn't enough room to handle all the currently scheduled operations.  I would need to put the surgery off for a week.  I couldn't believe it!  All ready and psyched up for it to occur in 5 days, and had to reschedule for a week later.  That messes up everything occurring the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd.  ARGH!  Actually the 12th was later than I needed because we are going back to Kansas for the month of September, and being in a cast for at least 8 weeks, I really wanted to have a good 4 weeks of physical therapy.  Now it is down to about 2 weeks. 

We have been planning for nearly a year to go back to Kansas for the month of September and attend the Kansas State Fair. 
Now, that may sound really silly, but you have no idea what an important place in my life the State Fair had.  I grew up with the Kansas State Fair!  My mom and I attended every single year.  We only missed the few short times we lived in a city too far away.  After I grew up and married and lived in Hutchinson, I never missed a year.  I would go nearly every day of the little over a week it was open.  I just loved to stand and listen to all those same people sell their wares year after year.  I loved the smell of hamburgers and onions cooking in the little booths along the midway.  I loved eating sour cream raisin pie in the Methodist booth.  I loved eating the  elephants ears and the funnel cakes.  I loved watching the local TV station broadcast their local programs and news.  When I was younger, I loved riding the rides - screaming in Ye Old Mill.  I especially loved marching in the band every year of my high school days.  When I moved from Kansas, The Fair was what I missed the most - other than my family and friends.  So this year we were really looking forward to going.  It is scheduled September 6-13.  I know I'll not be able to walk as much as it would require, but I'm taking my wheelchair, and I'M  GOING!!  Our daughter is planning to come from Ft. Collins, CO, along with the granddaughters for that week.  Jeannine will want to show her girls her "fair roots."

On one hand I'm really upset that the surgery has been postponed, but I know that nothing happens without a reason.  So I have to believe that this is the way it is supposed to be.  It will give me more time to clean my house, figure out how I want to move the furniture around the living room to form fewer obstacles, and finish getting some more meals in the freezer.  So until then, I just wait....